King to visit scene of ancestor’s revolutionary gesture

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf will visit Vienna on Tuesday, officials said, where his French ancestor was forced out in 1798 by residents incensed over his raising of the French revolutionary flag.

King to visit scene of ancestor's revolutionary gesture

Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, the representative of the revolutionary government in Paris, caused outrage when he unfolded a tricolour flag on the French embassy in the heart of the Austrian capital.

A mob tore down and burned the flag and when the Austrian authorities refused to apologise for the incident, Bernadotte quit Vienna. Eleven months later, France declared war on Austria and Bernadotte was named war minister.

The son of a French lawyer from Pau, southern France, Bernadotte did well under Napoleon but after being adopted by Swedish king Carl XIII, he switched allegiances and took the throne there in 1818 under the name Carl XIV Johan.

Officials at the Austrian presidency said Monday that Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia would be received by President Heinz Fischer at the presidential palace Tuesday, as part of a two-day state visit.